Last week’s SAE World Congress concluded with a speech by Bill Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford and Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman. His focus: the future of electric vehicles.
“All the early cars were electric,” said Ford. “They’ve been around for the past century or so, but they haven’t really had mass-market appeal.”
But Ford, a dedicated environmentalist, hopes to change that. He claimed that the automotive industry is on the verge of a major shift, and wants his company to be ready.
“It appears that the biggest game-changer will be electric vehicles,” said Ford during his speech. “Our new plan includes the introduction of five new high-mileage vehicles.”
Citing diminishing oil reserves, climate change and consumers’ desire to save money on fuel, Ford said that the industry has no option but to embrace more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Ford plans to introduce its five new vehicles (the Transit Connect Electric commercial van, electric Ford Focus, two new gas-electric hybrids and a plug-in hybrid) over the next three years. Ford will also improve the fuel economy of its established vehicles in new model years.
“Nobody is getting cocky, or overconfident,” Ford said. “Because, frankly, we’ve only taken baby steps on the long journey to where we really need to go.”
Photo courtesy of exfordy under the Creative Commons License